Microsoft today gave people an early look at the next version of Windows but it was not the Windows 9 event that everyone expected. The company instead announced Windows 10 with an early technical preview for the PC now available for download. As expected, Microsoft has tried to address many of the frustrations of Window 8, promising “an updated user experience” that will feel familiar to anyone who has used Windows 7.
“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead.”
Recognizing that the range of devices has exploded in recent years, Windows 10 is touted to offer “a consistent, familiar and compatible experience” across a variety of devices ranging from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets.
Among the features Microsoft highlighted today are the following:
- Expanded Start menu. The familiar Start menu is back, providing quick one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and it includes a new space to personalize with favorite apps, programs, people and websites.
- Apps that run in a window. Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximize, minimize and close with a click.
- Snap enhancements. Working in multiple apps at once is easier and more intuitive with snap improvements. A new quadrant layout allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and it will even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
- New Task view button. The new Task view button on the task bar enables one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
- Multiple desktops. Instead of too many apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, it’s easy to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects — whether for work or personal use.
The fact that Microsoft has to tout that apps from the Windows Store will run in traditional windows is a clear sign that Microsoft missed the mark when it forced users to use single full-screen apps with Windows 8.
Today’s event also made it clear that it has heard the complaints from business and enterprise customers. Many features were touted as if new but really reinstated the more familiar Windows concepts last seen in Windows 7, albeit with the improvements that one would expect from a new version.
Microsoft also announced the Windows Insider Program which will allow participants to run the technical preview of Windows 10 and provide feedback on what works and what does not. Microsoft is promising a “steady stream of builds through the development cycle” as it continues to add features and polish what’s already there.
Windows 10 will launch sometime in 2015.
Source : Microsoft